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No harmful chemical levels in air after Shell Texas chemical plant fire, company says

(Reuters) - Air monitoring around an extinguished fire at the Shell Plc's chemical plant in Deer Park, Texas, showed no harmful levels of chemicals in the air, the company said on Saturday, added that there was no threat to the surrounding community.

The fire broke out shortly before 3 p.m. CDT on Friday after in an olefins unit at the plant in the Houston suburb. Five people were taken for evaluation of possible injuries due to exposure to burned chemicals, the county sheriff said on Friday.

The company on Saturday said in a series of tweets that the fire was extinguished, and air monitoring has detected no harmful levels of chemicals.

"There is no danger to the nearby community. Current response activities being conducted at our facility are causing some flaring and noise, which we are working to minimize," the company wrote on Twitter. The fire was contained by 6 p.m. after a large column of black smoke could be seen rising from the fire located near Highway 225 in southeast Houston.

Olefins like ethylene, propylene and butadiene are used to make plastics and other products like detergent and rubber.

Pemex's  refinery operates in a different part of the site. Operations at the refinery continued despite the fire in the chemical plant, sources familiar with the refinery's operations said.

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